As we entered the office, there stood a man. He was looking at the pictures and awards on the wall behind Coach’s desk. ‘Who is this guy?’
“Boys. This is Coach Brian Jones; he is the head coach from The Montana School,” Coach extended a hand towards the man in front of us.
I was still. ‘The Montana school? The school!’ I wasn’t the only one. I looked over at Matthew and Jerry and they were silent and still too.
“George…” Coach pulled me back to the present.
I walked up to the new coach, following Coach’s example by extending my hand, “Nice to meet you Coach Jones.”
Matthew and Jerry mimicked me, but they still seemed dazed.
“He has come here to personally invite you three to join their school for the next two years. Congratulations,” Coach beamed with pride. I could tell he was above and
beyond his proud limit.
‘I’m bummed that Ken was not included in this offer; relaying the good news later is going to be difficult. Still…’ “I am honored to be offered this opportunity. It has been my goal to be accepted to this school.” I was trying to be cool and collected as I spoke, but I was beginning to feel the excitement build up inside me.
Jerry said something similar. He must be so excited to be offered this opportunity. On the other hand, Matthew was acting excited, but I could tell he wasn’t being sincere. I know that Matthew swims because he enjoys it, but also knew, he never planned to make it his path in life.
“It is just an offer,” Coach Jones interupted my thoughts, “you will have to discuss it with your parents. I’ll leave a brochure with each of you. You should know that since it is a private school, prices will increase; but we will be offereing scholarships to all of you for your first year. Dwell and think over my offer. I hope to see you all next year. Get ready to work! You will all become great swimmers if you put in the work,” Coach Jones turned to Coach. “I must be leaving now. I have a few more schools to visit in this state,” he shook Coach’s hand once more; then returning is gaze to us, “If you choose to join us next year, you will be seeing a few familar faces. Thank you for your time,” and Coach Jones was gone.
‘The rest of the team was probably confused about who the man that just left was…’ It was quiet again in Coach’s office. I don’t know about Jerry and Matthew, but I was trying to compose myself on the outside, at least. ‘My goal was accomplished!
I am going to my dream school. My future is on its correct path.’ “Dudes. Do you understand what just happened?” I paused waiting for a response. Nothing. “We get to
continue our swimming careers together! I am bummed about Ken, but I am happy I won’t be going alone.”
“I won’t be going.”
‘Who said that?’ I had to turn to see the shocked expression on Jerry’s face. ‘Matthew?’ “What?”
“I won’t be going,” Matthew said very nonchalantly. He turned to Coach, “Thank you for this season, but swimming was never going to be a career or a priority that would surpass my academics.”
“No problem, Matthew. I knew this would be your answer, but I wanted you to have the option. Also to have the knowledge that you are a great swimmer; that you were choosen out of the entire country. You should call Coach Jones and give your answer sooner than later. I know the school usually has a list of alternates. Another swimmer will get a chance.”
“Will do Coach. I’ll go do it now. You guys stay and talk. I’ll be back,” and Matthew left the office.
‘Is he crazy? He just gave up an opportunity of a lifetime.’ “Matthew,” I wanted to stop him, but Coach stopped me instead.
“Let him go. Matthew is not like you two. You both strive to be the best in the pool; Matthew thrives in acedemics. Jerry do you think your family will let you attend?” Coach
changed the topic to refocus me.
“Yeah, do you think you will go?” Hoping at least one person would be joining me.
“I hope. I’ve got to be honest, I never thought it was a possiblity. I thought that only George would be the one accepted. I’ll have to discuss it with my parents. Hopefully we will be able to afford it,” Jerry glanced through the brochure.
“Don’t worry too much about that, Jerry,” Coach said stepping up to us and placing a hand on each of our shoulders, “all things will work out. Now go back out and enjoy the fun day. It will probably be your last one the two years.” Then Coach too walked out of the office.
“Can you believe it? We are going to Montana!” pride was rising in me. I don’t think I will be able to contain myself until I get there.
“Simmer down dude. But yeah, hopefully I can go and we can dominate in Montana. But let’s head back out there,” Jerry pulled me to the edge of the pool, just as Matthew hopped in before us, “and cut Matthew some slack. He never wanted this path; he knows what he wants and he will do everything to get it. Just like you and Montana.
“True. Understood,” Jerry can be so right sometimes, “Let’s go!”